First Five Players of 2004 AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic Team Announced
COLUMBUS, GA. - MAY 1, 2004 - AFLAC announced today in a press conference featuring Cal Ripken, Jr. at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md., the first five of 38 players named to the 2004 AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic team. The country's top rising high school juniors meet in the second annual East versus West face-off game at Ripken Stadium on Aug. 6, 2004, broadcast nationally on FOX Sports Net on Aug. 8.
Official selection partners Baseball America and Perfect Game chose the players
for their accomplishments both on, and off the field, including involvement in the community.
All-Americans Justin Upton, SS, Greatbridge High School, Chesapeake, Va., and Justin Bristow, SS/RHP, Mills E. Godwin High School, Richmond, Va., received their 2004 team jerseys from Honorary Chairman Cal Ripken, Jr. at the event.
Three additional All-Americans were announced, although not present at the event: Andrew McCutcheon, CF, Fort Meade High School, Fort Meade, Fla.; Buster Posey, SS/RHP, Lee County High School, Leesburg, Ga.; and Shane Funk, RHP, Arnold High School, Panama City, Fla.
"Justin Upton would be the first position player taken in this year's draft if he were eligible," said Jerry Ford, Perfect Game USA president.
With the press conference, AFLAC kicks-off the official multi-city selection tour to honor chosen
AFLAC All-Americans in their hometowns.
All proceeds from the 2004 AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic will be donated to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. The 2003 inaugural game raised $20,000 for Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida and $5,000 for the AFLAC Cancer Center.
"AFLAC has a long-standing relationship with baseball, while our philanthropic focus is pediatric cancer treatment and research," said Kathelen Spencer, executive vice president of AFLAC. "We are delighted to be involved with an event that brings together both of our passions while showcasing America's most talented high school players."
The AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic is endorsed by many of the game's pillars, including Major League Baseball.
"Major League Baseball is happy to support AFLAC's effort to promote high school baseball," said Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball. "We look forward to helping grow this game into the pre-eminent event of its type."
In 2003, the inaugural AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic featured three players predicted to be among the top 10 selections in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft: Chris Nelson, SS, Redan High School, Decatur, Ga.; Matt Bush, SS, Mission Bay High School, San Diego; and Nick Adenhart, RHP, Williamsport High School, Hagerstown, Md.
"The AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic is an exciting promotion for the game of baseball," said Jerry Ford, Perfect Game USA president. "This year's game will no doubt launch a new group of future stars into the public spotlight."
AFLAC hired Sports America, Inc., an event management and sports marketing corporation in Rockville, Md., to set up the game and selection tour. Sports America has created and currently produces the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game and the Jordan Capital Classic High School All-Star Basketball Game.
To learn more about the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic, or dates and stops on the official selection tour, visit www.AFLACAll-American.com.
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is an international holding company. A Fortune 500 company, AFLAC insures more than 40 million people worldwide. It is a leading writer of insurance products marketed at the worksite in the United States, offering policies to employees at more than 294,600 payroll accounts. The company insures one out of four Japanese households and is the largest life insurer in Japan in terms of individual policies in force. In January 2003, AFLAC was the number one insurance company in Fortune magazine's list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America" and was included in the overall listing for the fifth consecutive year. In March 2003, Fortune also included AFLAC in its annual listing of "America's Most Admired Companies." And in July 2003, Fortune named AFLAC to its list of "America's 50 Best Companies for Minorities." AFLAC's Internet address is www.aflac.com.